By Julia Beauregard
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
Over 200 Medfield seniors gathered at the center on Thursday, December 29, to honor Council on Aging Director Roberta Lynch before she moved into her retirement.
The event was a surprise party for Lynch, created in coordination by her COA colleagues and her five children, who traveled from many parts of the country to celebrate their mother’s time and dedication to the COA over the last 21 years.
Much to her own surprise, Lynch was greeted at the door by her COA colleagues, before entering a packed banquet hall. Perhaps the greatest surprise of all for Lynch was seeing her five children and grandchildren awaiting her at the head table.
The Center was filled with community members whose lives had been touched by Lynch over the years.
“The turnout today is due to her dedication to the seniors,” COA Outreach Coordinator Susan Longmoore shared. “People wanted to come to the Center because of her active and engaging programs. Roberta always had time for someone; she would stop what she was doing to see exactly what they needed.”
This was plain to see as after Lynch greeted her family members, she moved slowly throughout the center, personally greeting each and every community member who came to show their love and support on this grand occasion. While Lynch wanted to give these community members her thanks for coming, “everyone wanted to come and say their thanks because she has done so much for the community,” Longmoore added — though she felt like it was an understatement, because it did not truly exemplify all that Lynch had done for the community in the two decades she spent as director of the Council on Aging.
After Lynch had made her rounds greeting each and every attendee, Acting Chairman of the Council on Aging Board Rich Ryder gave a speech commemorating all that the director had accomplished during her tenure. “Roberta has spent over two decades getting the center and all of the seniors everything they need,” he said. Ryder regarded Lynch warmly and wished her well in her retirement, hoping that she will not be a stranger at the Center.
After Ryder concluded, community member Rose Thibault approached the podium to recite a skit that the COA and community members had put together to honor Lynch and show the many “hats” she wore as COA director. Lynch had clearly gone above and beyond in her role as she was regarded as the COA cook (with her famous coleslaw and meatballs), the COA bus driver, the bingo caller, the personal shopper for the Center, and acting nurse.
They proceeded to gift her with a sunhat, which is the only hat she will need as she moves into her retirement in Florida.
A representative from the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department, Michael Ramsey, came on behalf of Sheriff Patrick McDermott to present a certificate to Lynch for her dedication to the Center over the years. “It is clear to see how many lives you’ve touched and how many beautiful people are here to celebrate you,” Ramsey told her before awarding her the certificate.
Lynch’s son, Kevin, came to the podium on behalf of Roberta’s family to commemorate her time at the COA. “Congratulations on an incredible career,” he told his mother, before recalling all of the stories about her time as director of the COA from his youth.
Finally, Lynch herself came to the stand to thank everyone for coming. “I’m the one that’s thanking you,” she said. “You shouldn’t be thanking me. This has been a home for me and you’re all my family. Thank you for today and the past twenty-one years and four months! You can’t forget the four months.”
Roberta Lynch will surely be missed by the community, but what a profound impact she has had on all of the lives she has touched in the two decades she has worked as Director at the Council on Aging. We all send her warm wishes in retirement.